I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The Necromancer’s Gambit is outside the realm of my typical reading, so that is likely some reason for the rating I give the story. It reminded me of Burn Notice in the way it gives background information, with a twist of magic and vampires.
Writing style gets a definite 5 out of 5. The author has excellent prose, which is obvious from the first page. There was an interesting premise to the story, it was mostly well edited and well written. There were no wasted, superfluous words. The action was well played and straightforward in this “Whodunit” type of story. Solid writing made for fast pacing throughout.
The plot and story were problematic, which I rate 3 stars out of 5. So much of the story focused on toilet humor, including foul language, constant sexual remarks and coarse gestures that it became a focal point of the story instead of a sidekick humor aspect. It seems like the characters were soaked in sex powder, be they male or female, gay or straight, and little else mattered. So the question became, “Is this a sex joke story, or a Necromancer story?” Are the characters serious about doing their job or they more just out there to satisfy their base impulses?
Part of the story sounded like a narrative when everything had to be explained. It was interesting to a point, but after a while it just seemed like unimportant trivia, and easy to tune out. For the most part it didn’t seem relevant in what happened throughout the story.
On the whole, there was little tension build up, because everyone always seemed to be on edge. As the murders go on and the attacks came, everyone stayed tense, with no quality wind down time. We don’t go through any emotional changes to speak of. They seemed constantly the same: tense, irritable, lashing out at every opportunity.
When it came to the characters, I ran into even more problems, and gave this 2 stars out of 5. All the voices were similar except for slutty witch in bar, and what’s left of the first guy killed in the beginning of the story. It was hard to find a likeable character, and therefore someone to root for. Most everyone constantly argued, threatened, and acted like teenage punks, constantly and to the extreme. It reminded me of the phrase, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?” The main characters could not/would not work as a cohesive group so as to protect their business. They didn’t trust each other but instead constantly tore each other apart. They have strong skills but worked as separate entities instead of acting like team players. These aspects left me with little to care about what happens to any of them.
In short, this is a gritty, fast-paced magic story with lots of sexual innuendo, plot twists and strange turns along the way.